March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Sunrise view on Timber Hill

March 25, 2013

Redwork Quilted

I finished quilting the redwork alphabet quilt yesterday, and have started sewing on the binding.  I have had the machine embroidery blocks forever.  I used some fabric from our Remnants Martha fabrics for the sashing and borders and added a striped binding. This will go in our Martha donation quilt stack.

I sometimes struggle with what designs to use on embroidery quilts. Because this is basically outline type embroidery instead of dense fill I decided to stitch over it. I used the Circle Lord Baptist Fan design and very fine white thread. Essential Pro from Connecting Threads. Hobbs 80/20 batting.

Note: Oh-no! I just checked with Connecting Thread when I posted the link to Essential Pro, their long arm thread---and they are discontinuing it! So, last chance if you use this thread. BTW: I use it and have had no problems running it on "Polly". I like the weight and low sheen. Oh, and the price too!!!
See my blog blurb about this thread Here.

All the time I was doing this, I hoped I had placed the letters and rows correctly! 
I kept singing the Alphabet song!!! 

March 23, 2013

The Singer Featherweight Extension Table

I've received several emails inquiring about the Featherweight extension table you have seen in some of my blog pictures.  The company that makes them is Bob Corey Associates Custom Extension Tables.    I found mine on eBay and it's the "mini" Singer Featherweight extension table.  There are a variety of sizes.

Singer Featherweight extension table.

 I do find it a bit lightweight, and it slips around. So I plan to glue some round pieces of that shelf liner stuff to the bottom of each foot to stop that. Right now I have a piece of shelf liner under the machine on the table I'm sewing at.  I choose the mini size because it's easier to transport and use on limited table space, yet I like that it keeps my wrist and hand from resting directly on the Featherweight gold decals and it also gives me additional space to adjust the pieces of quilt blocks and support them as I sew.

Plus, it is so cute that the extension table matches the little Black Featherweight machines!

I think the company also makes them other colors.  When I saw them on eBay I didn't realize their was a company associated with the extension tables until I received mine. (no affiliation, just happy with the product)

March 22, 2013

Scattered Progress

I feel so scattered lately as far as projects go.  I get up every morning thinking of all I'm going to accomplish with my sewing or quilting, and as the day wears on it becomes more about pulling weeds, cooking or cleaning!

My long arm is collecting dust---again. I have quilt tops I could be quilting, but.....

Yesterday I did manage to get a few rows of blocks put on this redwork donation quilt before I headed to town to run some errands that could not be put off.
The sewing room chaos......

I have the Featherweight set up on the kitchen table, and that may be my saving grace as far as getting anything finished.  I have two small tumbler tops finished. One needs a border. Cooking and sewing seems the only way I make progress lately.

My design wall is just as I left it weeks ago except my experimenting with a few strings and squares to attempt to make a  Spaghetti and Meatball quilt top, and Easy Street lingers.....

I think I need to focus-focus. Maybe if I disappear into the sewing room, no one will find me since they wouldn't think to look there as it's been so long since I've actually been in  there for any length of time!

March 16, 2013

Baking and Sewing

I've been baking and sewing.  I have the Singer Featherweight set up on the kitchen table so I'm not running down the hall to the sewing room, then running back to put more cookies into bake.
Ginger Snaps!

It's working out so well I may leave the machine set up on the kitchen table. 

Sometimes I wish my sewing room was closer to the kitchen!
Cookies and Fabric, what more could you ask for on National Quilt Day!

Little Scrap Tumbler coming together!

March 12, 2013

Two Day Baby Quilt

I've heard of those weekend quilts.  I don't think I've ever managed to make a quilt in two days. However, this flannel baby quilt was finished in two days. Amazing what you can do when you have a deadline!  My daughter wanted a "quick" baby shower gift for the weekend.

What I liked about doing this is it's flannel.  It's so soft! It's for a new baby! and I got to use my embroidery machine.  Anytime I can make a project that combines both sewing and embroidery, it's more fun.  I feel like I'm getting "full use" of the machine.

 I used one of the many appliqué machine embroidery designs I have downloaded and saved. One appliqué Bear  in each corner of the top piece of flannel.
 I then sandwiched the two pieces of flannel with Warm n' Natural batting between, and made a six inch stitched grid across the top of flannel. Pin basted the backing, batting and top of the quilt ----and then I used the same appliqué bear design outline minus the bow on the bear in each of the six inch squares to create the "quilted" bear effect by hooping each six inch square and using the embroidery machine to create the quilting design.  This hooping and machine outline was the most time consuming part of making the baby quilt, otherwise it went pretty fast.  Of course it depends on the embroidery design you choose.   Below is the quilt back.
Attached the binding, and washed to remove any of the registration lines I had marked with blue wash out pen.  Tumble dry.  The directions for making the flannel machine embroidery baby quilt are at Perfect Little Stitches  There are several suggested methods to make the flannel baby quilt on the website. This one measured 40" x 40" finished. 

March 10, 2013

A Remnant Quilt----Finished!

 Our quilt group, The Remnants, have been making more quilts with Martha's fabric stash.
This is my version of Bonnie Hunter's quilt pattern, "Pioneer Braids"

It was fun to make!  Bonnie has some wonderful scrap quilt patterns!



With no doubt---the title of my blog says it all.  We live in the "woods". Big time!  Some of the Fir, Oak and Bay trees are very old. Some are falling from beetle infestations, others from old age. Some lean a bit.  Like this one in the middle of this picture that had a definite swagger that was aimed towards the house. It seemed every time we walked out to the edge of the lawn and looked down the bank at it, it had leaned just a bit more.

We decided perhaps it had become a danger and should come down.  So last week the tree cutters came and started the process of taking it down.

They are amazing to watch.  They start the climb and cut branches as they go, but leave about 6 or 7 inches of each branch.  This creates a stepping peg or ladder so they can keep climbing to the very top of the tree. This tree was approx. 80' feet tall.  Then the process of cutting the tree down in 2' foot round sections and pushing them off to let them fall to the ground below starts.  This is very hard work and also dangerous.  The cuts need to be angled just right, and strong upper body strength is definitely needed to get the rounds to topple down and away from the tree cutter.


We use wood to heat our home. Once the rounds have dried, the splitting and stacking starts.

If a Tree Falls
If a tree falls in the forest
with no ear to hear its fall,
does it make a crackling thunder
or descend in silent sprawl?
If a book remains unopened
and no reader turns its page,
does it still embrace a story
or trap words inside a cage?
–Laura Purdie Salas, from BookSpeak 

March 09, 2013

Catching Up--and DreamWeaving

I've had a few inquires as to what has happened to me.  Why haven't I blogged lately?  First, I want to thank you for emailing me, and yes I'm fine.  I was surprised that you noticed I was missing in action! How kind of you---and now I will try to catch you up on things around Timber Hill.  In some ways literally as Bill has been having problems with his leg and back. I have been the chauffer for all the tests and office visits. After two cortisone epidurals, he is still no better. This coming week he starts physical therapy for four weeks in hopes he gets some relief from the ongoing sciatica and lower back pain.  Keep good thoughts and prayers for the coming weeks----

In between appointments and doing some chores around here that Bill normally takes care of, I have managed to get in some sewing and quilting time.

 We even had a few rainy days which are much needed around our area as we have not had a good downpour of rain for weeks. I love to sew when it's rainy.   I think it was early January since we last had any substantial rain.

In January I traded in my less than one year old Pfaff Creative Performance sewing machine for a new Brother DreamWeaver VQ3000. I gave you a teaser posting about it in February.  Pfaffie and I never "bonded" that well, so when my wonderful dealer offered to do a trade with me. I was more than thrilled to give him back Pfaffie.  I'm sorry we never quite got along.

"DreamWeaver"---isn't that an interesting name for a sewing machine? It sort of says it all. It really is a "dream machine"! I knew the moment I sat down to sew with it we would be best buds for a long, long time.  There is truly not a thing I don't like about this sewing machine.  I basically wanted it for the 7 mm -seven point feed dog system.  It grabs the very tip of the smallest piece or edge of fabric, pulls it under the foot, and sews so smoothly and evenly. Quietly. (Pfaffie did make a lot of noise at times.)

This machine also reminds so much of another beloved sewing machine I foolishly sold with my quilting system years ago.  The Brother PQ1500. It had a marvelous feed dog system too.

The DreamWeaver not only has this great feed dogs system, it has a bunch of dream-stuff to go with it.  Lighting for one thing---I had to turn it down. I've never had to turn lighting down on a machine. Usually I've had to put another source of light next to the machine.  If you look at the above photo, you will see a glowing reflection of the lights. They are set on 3 in this picture. I can turn them up to 5 which is too bright for me, and I can use all the light I can get normally.

Notice the wide arm area. That's 11.5 inches of space on the right of the needle. Is that ever nice when piecing quilt backing or sewing on a quilt binding!  The extension table is large, and is included with the machine.

The automatic threader is another wonderful feature. Just push a button---swoosh, the needle is threaded. No need to align or pull down and then push/pull any type of needle threader. The machine does it all. Same auto feature with the thread cutter.

The DreamWeaver has some new features that rather unique for sewing machines at this moment.

  • The MuVit foot
  • The Laser Pen   

New advances in sewing machine technology. I wasn't sure if they were gimmicky, or for real.

Let me assure you they are real, and really nice to use.  Here are a few picture of how I have been using the laser light feature. Diagonal seaming. No need to mark or press a crease or attempt to eyeball your diagonal stitching. Turn on the laser, move it center, or in mm increments left or right and you have a built in beam of guiding light.

 There is a laser pen with the machine also. It allows you to pin point on the fabric where you wish to stop sewing. Example: that quarter inch stopping point just before you turn or flip the binding on a quilt. With the laser pen, just push it down on the fabric where you wish the stop to happen, and the machine will stop sewing at that point when it arrives there.

The MuVit foot rolls along. No more walking-stepping motion like a regular walking foot. MuVit stitches very straight with little hand guiding and and evenly feeds heavy or thin fabrics. It does not care what is in the way, it just rolls over it!

MuVit was great for sewing some of the  chenille pot holders a few weeks ago.

If you are considering a new sewing machine. Take a look at these Dream machines.
There are three in the series. This one, the VQ3000 is the sewing and quilting version. 

The others models are the embroidery sewing machine, and they also have an embroidery only machine.  I have more catching up to do, but it's late---more tomorrow.